Name: James Alton Newingham
Rank/Branch: U.S. Civilian
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record:
Date of Loss: 08 February 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 104936N 1065628E (YS126965)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Auto
Other Personnel In Incident: John J. Fritz (released); Tanos E. Kalil
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2008.
SYNOPSIS: Tanos E. Kalil, John J. Fritz and James A. Newingham were
three U.S. civilians captured by Viet Cong forces on February 8, 1969 in
Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam. The three were held together as
Two years into his captivity, Newingham's family was told he had died. 
In 1973 Operation Homecoming occurred and 591 Americans were released by
the Vietnamese. Two of those lucky Americans were John Fritz and James
Newingham. John Fritz told of having been tortured and repeatedly thrown
in a pit with snakes and scorpions. Being held in South Vietnam and
Cambodia had its own horrors. Fritz and Newingham were lucky to be
The two also told of Tanos Kalil's fate. In April 1969, they reported,
Kalil fell ill with kidney problems. Because of poor medical attention
and even poorer diet, the illness grew more serious and he ultimately
died in June 1969 and was buried near camp.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) listed Tanos Kalil as a
prisoner who had died while in captivity. They did not return his
remains to U.S. control. For over 20 years, the U.S. has been unable to
bargain for even those Americans known to have been held captive and now
are deceased. Many consider this an outrage.
Even more outrageous, certainly, is the mounting evidence that hundreds
of Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. While Vietnam and the
U.S. hold talks which focus on the only remaining barrier to normalized
relations being Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, families of the
nearly 2500 missing men stand by in helpless horror.
James "Rowdy" Newingham resides in Texas. In 2008, he mentioned that he was
the only survivor of this incident. John J. Fritz was released but passed away
in New Jersey 03/15/2001, Tanos E. Kalil did not survive captivity.